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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Technology

More Pictures Of The MILA Coupic Pickup-Crossover-Convertible

On: Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 10:34AM | By: Chris Weiss

MILA Coupic test 2

As a writer, I really don't like to admit that the whole adage about a picture and 1,000 words is correct. But in some cases, it definitely is. We covered the MILA Coupic concept last week when it was first announced, but without more pictures of the concept in its various configurations, the article was incomplete. With a few new pictures, we're able to complete the story.

The MILA Coupic is a concept built by Austrian engineering and manufacturing firm Magna Steyr. While it's not exactly a household name, Magna Steyr is a prominent force in the automotive industry and provides services to many well-known brands.

VW Cross Coupe Blossoms As TDI Plug-In

On: Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:56PM | By: Chris Salamone

VW Cross Coupe TDI Plug-in Hybrid test 2

Incredibly mouthy verbiage aside, Volkswagen’s Cross Coupe TDI Plug-in Hybrid Concept has some pretty impressive specs. Last December we got a sneak peak during the Tokyo Auto Show, but this second version of the Cross Coupe, set to debut in Geneva, looks even better. And no, we’re not just referring to the vehicle’s snazzy two-tone red paint scheme.

Volkswagen’s latest concept can also boast 302 horsepower, 512 ft.-lb. of torque, and a purported 130 MPGe.

Ford Shows Hands-Free Tailgate On New Kuga Concept

On: Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Shows Hands-Free Tailgate On New Kuga Concept test 2

So often it seems that automakers use technology to create complicated, ambiguous features like advanced infotainment systems with social networking and touchscreen-based controls. Those features are valuable to some, annoying to others, and downright unnecessary many. Either way, it seems like there are more universally beneficial features that automakers could be using their technological know-how to build. Ford conquers one common problem using technology.

Most drivers have been in this situation at least once: You stroll up to the car with a bag full of groceries, box full of liquor, big awkward piece of furniture, etc. You don't have a free muscle to reach for your keys, and you can't open the car. The ground is wet, dirty or muddy and you'd rather not set your goods down on it. After a few minutes, you manage to balance your package delicately on the hood while manually opening the trunk. Problem solved (so long as your package doesn't slide off the hood and smash to bits).

Ford's new kick-activated tailgate system eliminates that hassle. Ford Kuga owners can lightly kick below the rear bumper to open the tailgate. They don't need their hands and can pop the trunk and slide their bags in without the usual effort.

Another Crossover Convertible Concept: Magna Steyr MILA Coupic

On: Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 3:01PM | By: Chris Weiss

Magna Steyr MILA Coupic test 2

It's just as we feared. The flood gates are open, and the crossover convertibles are flowing through like a Class VI river. A day after Range Rover introduced its take on the crossover convertible, Austrian company Magna Steyr presents its own: the MILA Coupic.

To Magna Steyr's credit, it appears to actually make a crossover convertible that is both functional and stylish, something we previously thought was impossible. We're guessing that rear fascia is going to be a bit large and flat, but the high, slanted roofline and raked windshield actually make this car look sporty and attractive.


BMW To Integrate Carbon Fiber

On: Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 4:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW To Integrate Carbon Fiber test 2

Carbon fiber has long been an expensive, high-tech material most at home in expensive, high-tech devices like space shuttles, F1 race cars and $10,000 bikes. It's certainly no stranger to the automotive world, but it usually socializes in the highest echelons only.

The tides are slowly turning for carbon fiber, though. Last year, GM announced a partnership aimed at integrating carbon fiber into mainstream vehicle production. Across the Atlantic, BMW is planning a similar move, though, of course, its vehicles are a step above mainstream.

Nissan Talks Efficiency And Common Module Family

On: Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 12:22PM | By: Chris Salamone

Nissan Common Module Family test 2

Nissan recently announced the introduction of a next-gen efficient engineering project, aptly named the Common Module Family (CMF). For decades automakers have struggled with keeping production costs low, often by sharing the infrastructure or gadgetry from other makes or models. While platform and part sharing sounds great on its face, consumers often demand distinctive vehicle characteristics, constantly improved fuel economy, and cutting edge safety or technology features – which makes engineering efficiency a huge obstacle for any automaker.

But not anymore. Nissan intends to implement a four module system which allows for a wide spectrum of vehicle design concepts. From compact to large-scale SUVs, the CMF program will mix and match standard modules from the engine compartment, cockpit, front underbody, and rear underbody.

LaHood Lies Down In Laying Down Electronics Guidelines

On: Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 3:01PM | By: Chris Weiss

LaHood Lies Down In Laying Down Electronics Guidelines test 2

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood hasn't hidden the fact that he doesn't like in-vehicle distractions. Unfortunately, you'd never know LaHood doesn't like in-vehicle distractions based upon the toothless guidelines the Department of Transportation issued earlier this month.

The new guidelines, which were released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are voluntary standards for automakers. The guidelines lay out some types of in-vehicle electronics that the Department says should be disabled while the vehicle is in motion. Those things include visual text messaging, visual manual Internet browsing, visual manual social networking and displays of more than 30 characters of text unrelated to driving. The department says those features should only be active when the car is in park or for the passenger only with no driver visibility.

In Nevada, Red License Plates = Empty Driver's Seat

On: Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 10:05AM | By: Chris Weiss

In Nevada, Red License Plates = Empty Driver's Seat test 2

Nevada is set to become the testing bed for self-driven vehicles. Last summer, the state's legislature officially legalized certain self-driven vehicles after some heavy lobbying by Google. The legislation called upon Nevada's Department of Motor Vehicles to develop rules and regulations governing the real-world use of such vehicles. Among the first rules is one that requires self-driven vehicles to be tagged with red license plates, a designation that will easily convey their autonomous status to other drivers.

If you look at the state of Nevada, it's the perfect test bed for unproven vehicle technology. You've got Vegas; you've got Tahoe; you've got some smaller gambling towns lined up around the state's borders; and you've got a whole lot of empty desert, mountains and open space in between. It's not one of the top 5 least-populated states, but considering its large size and population concentration around the borders, it has plenty of open space and uncrowded roads. Those uncrowded roadways connecting spotty towns are located next door to California, where tech companies like Google are headquarted.

Porsche 911 Engineer: Manual Transmissions Are Walking Dead

On: Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 1:56PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche 911 Engineer: Manual Transmissions Are Walking Dead test 2

Despite the fact that about half of all 911s sold in the United States are equipped with a manual transmission, a prominent Porsche engineer feels Stuttgart will phase out manuals by the end of the decade. Automated manual transmissions like Porsche's seven-speed dual-clutch PDK have just come too far in combining the driving advantages of traditional manuals with the ease of use of automatics.

Porsche 911 project manager Michael Schätzle - whose name most certainly rhymes with my favorite German side dish - told Automobile magazine that he foresees the manual hitting extinction within the next generation or two of the 911. Schätzle said that about 78 percent of 911 buyers globally are already opting for the seven-speed PDK, and he sees the increased speed and efficiency as too attractive to let the manual survive much longer.

BMW Showcases ConnectedDrive Technology In New Commercials (Video)

On: Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 1:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW Showcases ConnectedDrive Technology In New Commercials test 2

BMW introduced the Vision ConnectedDrive concept at last year's Geneva Motor Show. While the concept was a radical roadster that was quite the sight to see, it was primarily about technology, not styling. The concept previewed a host of next-generation technological systems designed to connect the driver to the vehicle and road around him.

BMW has taken the next step in advertising its ConnectedDrive suite. It has released a series of fun, humorous commercials that showcase some of the technologies.

XSeed Hybrid Buggy Concept

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 2:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

XSeed Hybrid Buggy Concept test 2

The Peugeot EX-1 just got a little competition. The EX-1 was one of the few vehicles that we could think of that compares to the new XSeed concept, a small hybrid speedster that's part go-cart or buggy and part car.

The Xseed is the work of designer Marcus Beltrao, according to Ubergizmo. It's just a design, so take the actual design features and hard figures with a grain of salt.